Simply Hamper | The Origin of the Chinese Zodiac

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The Chinese Zodiac is an ancient calendar-based divination method, calculated with a 12 year cycle. The zodiac is believed to have originated in China more than four thousand years ago, and is believed to have been in use since the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). It is still widely used in modern Chinese and East Asian cultures today. 

The zodiac system is based on a combination of astrology, folklore and astronomy. Each year in the 12 year cycle is represented by a different animal, and it’s a popular belief that these animal signs have an impact on how people born that year will be like. From personalities to behaviours, it’s believed that each zodiac animal will have some form of influence!

The Folklore of the Chinese Zodiac

There is a timeless tale of the Jade Emperor summoning 12 animals, instructing them to race to his palace to join the banquet. The order that each animal arrived then determined their place in the Chinese Zodiac.

The order of which the animals arrived is as follows: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. During the race, the animals were said to have gotten involved in adventures and trickery of their own.

For example, the rat was said to have rode the ox’s back, then jumped off right at the finish line to win by only a hair. Another was that the snake hid on the horse’s hoof to cross a river, then scared the horse once it reached the other side to beat it to the finish line.

There were tales of heroic deeds, however – the dragon was honourable and avoided flying as it could have won the race easily. Instead, it stopped to help villagers who were caught in a flood, and in some tales it even helped to create rain for drought-ridden farmland.

People’s Personal Traits

Thanks to the story above, some traditional people tend to think about the characteristics of the zodiac signs when anyone talks about their zodiac animal. The Chinese Zodiac is also widely used to determine the best time to do certain things, such as getting married or starting a business. However its most common associate would be people’s personal traits.

Here is the rundown of the personality traits of each animal!

Quick-witted, resourceful and versatile. Ambitious to a certain degree, only if it interests them. They dislike overspending money on unnecessary things, and prefer to save.

Honest, hardworking and dependable. Associated with reliability and patience, with a hint of stubbornness.They tend to bottle up their emotions, and it might be hard for others to understand them.

Vigorous, courageous, with a hint of impulsiveness. They are known to be a tad unpredictable, making rash decisions while battling with a high self-esteem.

Known to be gentle and compassionate, quiet and polite. They generally have a strong sense of responsibility, and careful attention to detail.

They have hearts full of romance and adventure! Sometimes they have little interest in things that an average person thinks about, and tend to let their minds wander.

Some people call them idealists. They may seem a little chilly on the outside, but warm up well to people they care about. They’re extremely devoted to their passions, however their worst enemy is laziness.

Just like a horse, they’re always energetically pushing themselves forward. Their biggest desire is to have freedom to express themselves however they want, and do whatever they want. However they lose interest in things easily and get distracted. They’re also terrible at keeping secrets.

Pure and kind of heart. These individuals rather hold their emotions than argue with someone else, however are capable of politely and patiently persuading others into their favour.

If they do not care for it, they won’t take it seriously – these people like to do things based on their interests. They are energetic and curious, and value the relationships they have with the people around them.

They have quick reactions and high EQ! They make for great friends, although sometimes they may be a tad cunning. They’re usually creative people, and have good foresight and planning when it comes to things.

Loyal to the extreme. They are conservative and full of justice. These individuals are greatly valued in the workplace, and are known to abide by rules except when it comes to people who are important to them. They’re family people, and usually wish to spend time peacefully with their families.

Some people stereotype them as lazy, but that’s not the case at all! They’re able to think logically, and strive to fix problems that they can solve. Sometimes communication is an issue, but ultimately they’re kind, and able to provide for their families. They also may have a hair-trigger temper, which you have to watch out for!

Shop for CNY Hampers in 2023 with Simply Hamper!

If you’re in the market for a gift for CNY, we’ve got you covered. Simply Hamper is prepped with the best CNY hampers in Singapore, ready for the upcoming Chinese New Year! Check out our Chinese New Year section today and get set to celebrate your CNY with a bang!

We offer same-day delivery for free, for orders made before 3PM. Schedule your CNY gift set today!
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